NBC Sports Washington is expanding its betting-infused broadcasts of Washington Wizards games this season to a 20-game schedule which includes several modifications.
In January, the regional sports network co-owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, owner of the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals as well as the National Basketball Association’s Wizards, and NBCUniversal, piloted eight secondary, gaming-infused basketball broadcasts of Wizards games on overflow channel NBC Sports Washington Plus.
A central point of the broadcast is a free-to-play Predict the Game contest whose prize winners are announced in the network’s post-game coverage. There is also real-time sports-betting data and statistics on-screen throughout the game.
The initiative was the first of its kind and then expanded to four Washington Redskins games during the 2019 NFL preseason. However, this is the first time that NBC Sports Washington is providing predictive-gaming presentations throughout a full season.
This season, the initiative, which begins on November 6 for the Wizards’ game against the Indiana Pacers, will feature special hosts who will appear at various times to address Predict the Game participants and provide contest updates, information and results.
Last season, the telecasts offered $500 in prize money and the contest lasted all game. Now $500 in prizes will be offered each quarter, which will each have their own separate contests. In addition, there will be a live leaderboard and answer confirmation if participants get their questions right or wrong.
Going forward, these telecasts are pilots for far-more expansive gaming broadcasts when sports betting is officially legalised throughout the Mid-Atlantic region covered by NBC Sports Washington.
Monumental plans to install a sportsbook at Capital One Arena, a first for a US professional sports venue, following the completion of a new deal with betting company William Hill US.
Monumental majority owner and founder Ted Leonsis, the billionaire former AOL senior executive, has been a big proponent of sports betting for several years and is eager to capitalise on new revenue opportunities. Leonsis’s venture capital firm Revolution Growth has already invested in fantasy sports operator DraftKings, data company Sportradar, and sports betting start-up WinView.